11 Sep 2013

Hawai'i Governor keen to move gay marriage bill

10:47 am on 11 September 2013

Hawai'i Governor Neil Abercrombie has called for a special legislative session to move forward on a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

If lawmakers pass a bill, Hawai'i would join 13 U.S. States and Washington, D.C., in allowing gay marriage. The special session would begin on October the 28th.

Hawai'i is already among a handful of states that allow same-sex civil unions, which gay marriage advocates say stops short of the full benefits of marriage.

The proponents of gay marriage in the state renewed their efforts after seeing two U.S. Supreme Court rulings come down in line with their views in June.

One ruling granted federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

Governor Abercrombie has been considering a special session since the rulings. He met privately last week with Democratic lawmakers in the House about the issue.

A draft of the bill released by his office last month proposes that Hawai'i begin issuing marriage licenses next month. If passed, ceremonies could begin in November.